Data Analysis & Research Methodologies

We share data analysis & research methodologies best practices, insights and tips in our Voice of the Buyer blog. By reading the following articles, you’ll learn the best methods and strategies for obtaining and analyzing B2B business intelligence data.

In addition to these articles, download this eBook for 16 best practices for using B2B qualitative and quantitative data.

Win Loss Analysis Definition

What is Win Loss Analysis?

At the most basic level, win loss analysis helps sales, marketing, and product leaders understand the reasons for their organizational wins and losses so that they can increase their win rates and capture more business in the future.

Win loss programs are important at all levels of the organization because it helps explain why buyers choose specific solutions and why they do not choose others.

At a higher level, win loss programs help transform organizations as they make fundamental changes to what are often systemic problems. When managers see patterns in buyer feedback that consistently show outstanding—or sub-par—performance, they can replicate best practices throughout their organizations and avoid root cause behaviors that hinder long-term success. In this way, win loss analysis is sometimes compared to Kaizen, the Japanese practice of continuous improvement.

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What is sales intelligence

What is Sales Intelligence?

Sometimes, it is interesting to try to classify different areas of research and intelligence to see how certain specialties have originated, evolved and grown into their own species, so to speak. This study of sales intelligence can provide intelligence practitioners with the ability to see how their efforts might support or interrelate with other disciplines.
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Analytics in Competitive Intelligence: Stated vs. Derived Importance

If your company uses market information to make decisions, you are almost certain to be familiar with the ‘Of these items, how important was or which of these would you consider to be first, second, and third most important?’ These questions result in a measurement of stated importance, or those things that are easily identified and verbalized as important.

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Types of Customer Data to Collect to Improve Marketing Strategy

The Types of Customer Data to Collect to Improve Marketing Strategy

When some marketing professionals think about surveys, they generally think about close-ended feedback. Close-ended feedback, which is typically collected in online surveys, involves rating scales, “check boxes” of applicable categories, “yes/no” questions, and other data that is typically quantitative.

Close-ended feedback is usually efficient and straightforward for customers to answer, as well as straightforward for organizations to analyze. This type of customer feedback also provides the ability to easily compare different parts of the organization, different team member’s effectiveness, and overall customer experience from a quantitative, “temperature-taking” perspective.

In contrast, Read more

Winging Sales Calls

“Winging It” Yields Poor Results

The recent CCS® Index showed that 53% of sellers are guilty of “winging” sales calls. Most everyone had been guilty of not doing their due diligence before going to make a sales call.

Activities that should be done as part of pre-call planning would be:

  • Visit to the prospect’s website to get a sense for what type of company it is.
  • If calling on an executive, check his or her bio on the website to understand their background and areas of responsibility.
  • Check social media channels to learn more about the buyer.

When calling on a prospect for the first time,  Read more

Honest Customer Feedback

Honest Customer Feedback is the Cure for Insanity

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Unknown

This is obviously a cultural rather than a medical definition, but if you sell for a living, and you cannot figure out what you’re doing that’s causing you to lose deals you were sure you were going to win, you might start to feel like you’re losing your mind.

When you get some honest feedback, and start doing different things, the outcomes change, and the insanity goes away. Suddenly the world makes a lot more sense, and you’re closing a lot more deals.

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Rear view mirror

Three Questions to Predict if Your Customer Will Renew

Building a strong customer base is a game of inches, as the football analogy goes. To sell the deal, you have to find the right market, build the right product, and create a strong buying experience. But, as we all know, that’s only the first touchdown. You continue to sell and resell your product every day the customer uses it (or worse: doesn’t use it). You’re reaching for the next touchdown — a renewal, new engagement, or up-sell — with every customer interaction.

It’s the norm now for companies to track and measure the experience of their customers after the sale, and spending for customer retention programs is on the rise. A 2014 Harvard Business Review survey found 53% of executives saw customer experience management as a potential competitive advantage and 45% made it a strategic priority. And yet, how customer experience measurement is done widely varies.

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CRM Data Competitive Advantage

Why the Quality of CRM Data is the Keystone to Competitive Advantage

Recently, The Economist published an article titled “The World’s Most Valuable Resource Is No Longer Oil, But Data.” That article focuses on the market domination of internet giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google (among others). These profitable titans use their vast stores of data to capitalize on their size and maintain their market advantage. “Google can see what people search for, Facebook what they share, Amazon what they buy.” Their market intelligence comes from the quantity they collect, with quality being a lot less important.

For the hundreds of thousands of businesses that aren’t one of the internet behemoths, organizations that face a treacherous competitive landscape and possess far fewer data points to rely on, the quality of data is the key to using it to your advantage.

We think of Customer Relations Management (“CRM”) system’s primary purpose as being the facilitation of the sales process. Your sales reps need something to keep track of their deals in a manner that is superior to a spreadsheet. But, the truth is, if we just want to keep track of things, a spreadsheet would work just fine.

Another, better way to define a CRM is: “CRM aligns business processes with customer strategies to build customer loyalty and increase profits over time.” That’s a pretty inclusive definition that is clearly more than just tracking a transaction. And yet, how many sales professionals treat the CRM as a tracking tool?

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0 to 10 Rating Scale

The Magic in a 0-to-10 Rating Scale

Sometimes you need a definitive measurement. While we ask buyers and customers a range of qualitative and probing questions, we also love to ask them to quantify their perceptions. With that information, we can provide a host of metrics which precisely pinpoint the areas in need of focus to win more business and retain more customers.

A basic output in our TruVoice software would look something like this:

 

When asking these types of questions, we favor a 0-to-10 rating scale. Why? In 18 years of experience, we’ve found Read more

Successful Tactical Recommendations for Win Loss Programs

Win Loss Analysis Best Practice Series: 4 Successful Tactical Recommendations for Win Loss Programs

As competition increases for most companies, understanding why companies win and lose sales is increasingly critical.

Since the State of Win Loss study reported more competitive activity this year than previously, gathering data about buyers and the buying process presents a clear advantage.

Successfully starting and running a win loss analysis program takes skill, patience, and tenacity. Here are four tactical recommendations to help ensure your company’s win/loss efforts are effective.

 

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Win Loss Analysis: How to Calculate Your Win Rate

 

How to Analyze Sales Win Rate

If you pare down to the simplest method, calculating your sales win rate is the number of pursuits you win to the number you lose. So if you are involved in 100 sales engagements and you win 40 of them, you have a 40 percent win rate.

However, where do you draw the line as to what constitutes an engaged sales deal? You could look at every lead provided to the sales team or you could choose to include only the deals that get past a certain stage in the sales process.

Some organizations only count leads that are “sales ready” as true opportunities.

“Sales Ready” is when the prospective buyer Read more

B2B data analysis to understand the marketplace

Heard Enough About Big Data? Try Little Data Instead

Much has been written about Big Data, including the insights that can be gleaned from thousands or millions of data points, especially in the data-rich B2C market.

But what about Little Data? What can we learn from just a few data points? And when is Little Data appropriate in market, competitive, and buyer research?

We’ve often been asked how many data points are “good enough.” Clients who have worked in consumer marketing expect answers with phrases such as “confidence level” and “margin of error.”

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B2B Business Intelligence Strategy with Quant and Qual Data

Why Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Data is a Long-term Strategy [eBook]

Can you imagine going into a strategy session not knowing the growth projections for your market, your product or your industry?

Can you conceive of not knowing your share of the market compared to the market share of your competitors?

Arming yourself with this strategic quantitative data is critical to understanding how to grow your market presence, how to sell more products and services and how to win more customers.

But equally important Read more

Our New Competitive Advantage Score: How we’re benchmarking your interviews against our repository of data

Over the years, Primary Intelligence has collected oodles of data across numerous industries. To give you a sense, we typically analyze thousands of deals annually, and we’ve been doing this a while. We love data. But one thing we love more than data is turning that data into something meaningful for you. This is why we’ve updated our Competitive Advantage Score.

Let me back up and recap. Read more

What a Survey Can’t Tell You

Check out the reference guide at the end of this post!

This is a true story.

A large IT services company sold a complex suite of products in a highly competitive market. It was losing customers at an alarming rate, so an internal research team was tasked with finding out why. The team set to work designing a fairly standard customer satisfaction web survey to be emailed to current customers.

Response rates were respectable – their customers wanted to give feedback.

Concise and comparable customer satisfaction numbers were generated.

The problem was defined: attrition was due to poor product performance and low confidence in the company’s future.

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State of CX 2016

New CX Research from Primary Intelligence Finds B2B Firms Are Getting Serious About Customer Feedback

In Primary Intelligence’s recently published 2016 State of Customer Experience research findings, we found some interesting data points to suggest that B2B firms are increasingly serious about collecting, analyzing, and responding to feedback from their customers. In this blog, we share three of the more interesting findings from our latest annual research on the Customer Experience (CX) market.

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Phone Interviews w/Customers

Customer Phone Interviews: A Better Way to Gather Customer Experience Feedback [Infographic]

When collecting feedback from our customers, we know we need to get the sincerest input from them if we want to provide customers with the most valuable experience.

While NPS surveys, on-site visits, one-on-one interviews are effective ways to collect feedback, they don’t fully capture the golden nuggets we’re looking for.

Companies often neglect the most cost-effective and beneficial way to understanding customers and their specific needs.

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Phone Discussion for Collecting Customer Insights

Why Phone Interviews are Our Favorite Method for Collecting Customer Insights

Primary Intelligence’s Research & Development division was tasked with developing new solutions that allow our clients to understand and act on the insights we gather through our Win Loss and Customer Experience programs. Plus, anything else we think sounds interesting.

To succeed, our lifeblood is customer insights. We want to hear how they spend their days, their problems, what they like most about our services, where they want us to improve, and everything in between. We also talk to plenty of non-customers (or, to use the marketing euphemism, “potential customers”) to identify new problems we might solve.

We’ve worked with plenty of sales leaders, and their need for customer insights was just as urgent. In fact, there are probably few jobs in an organization that wouldn’t benefit from customer insights. We all want to understand our customer better. So, how do you do it?

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Expanding Revenue

Expanding Revenue Through Customer Experience Programs

All companies look for ways to grow revenue, and increasingly, employees in every department—not just sales and business development—are called upon to identify opportunities for revenue expansion. In these scenarios, department heads will often look to the organization’s existing customer base to upsell and cross-sell new products and services.

This, in turn, typically leads to questions of, “How satisfied are our customers?” and “Have our customers benefited from a good customer experience with our organization?” Having a Customer Experience (CX) Program in place helps to facilitate answers to these questions.

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Win Loss Analysis means more money

Why Revenue Retention—Not Just Customer Retention—Is Important in CX Success

A Vice President of Marketing we once worked with had a saying that he would frequently use throughout his day: “Not that.”

His “Not that” saying was his way of staying focused on the most important tasks at hand and not getting sidetracked by extraneous events. “Not that” should come to mind as we juggle both professional and personal obligations. What’s most important – “that.” What can wait until later – “not that.”

As companies try to maximize revenue and profitability, they often try to determine which customers are most critical and must be retained (“that”), and which customers may not be as critical (“not that”) due to any number of reasons—misalignment between customer needs and solution capabilities, sky high support costs, or incompatibilities with future strategic direction.

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